Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: Jittery on January 10, 2010, 10:45:23 PM

Title: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: Jittery on January 10, 2010, 10:45:23 PM
I very much want to become a lawyer but I fear that my poor undergraduate GPA (the absolute minimum for graduation, 2.0) and likely mediocre LSAT score (my practice test scores are in the low 160s even though I haven't taken the actual exam yet) give me only 2 chances of getting into law school: slim and none.

2.0 GPA: I wasted my time early in my undergraduate career at a big state u and boozed it up while I was dismissed for poor scholarship - a few years later I returned to the university and earned a 3.34 GPA after returning which lifted my overall average to a 2.04 GPA, not enough to graduate Summa, Magna or just plain old Cum Laude, but just by the skin of my teeth "Thank you Lordy" with my bachelor's degree in physics.

I really want to become a patent/intellectual property lawyer but fear that my early undergraduate career will prevent me from getting into an accredited law school. Should I even bother taking the LSAT test, acquiring recommendations and going through the process of applying to law school, or would I be wiser to just save my time and energy and focus on other things in my life because I'll never be a lawyer in this lifetime?

Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: oceansmarine on January 12, 2010, 09:46:21 AM
Your GPA will be leveraged by the LSDAS services.  After they post your new GPA, take the LSAT test which would indicate your ability to get thru a law school curriculum.

Apply to the law schools that work within your range GPA so that you can do the work and graduate as required/ontime with a respectable GPA...

You will do fine !!
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: Jittery on January 13, 2010, 02:51:30 PM
oceansmarine I appreciate the fact that you responded to my message.

I am aware of the LSAC and LSDAS services. What I would like to know is if it turns out that my "leveraged" GPA is 2.0 or so, and the best LSAT scores I'm capable of getting are in the 160 range, what are my law school prospects?

I have not talked to any experts on the subject and would prefer finding out without having to pay the LSAC and wait several weeks.

Here's what I think my situation is (perhaps you and others on this board could comment on this). My assumed 2.0 "leveraged" GPA and 160 LSAT eliminate me from serious consideration by all but the very lowest ranking, least prestigious law schools -- and there's no guarantee that I'd even be able to get into any of them. The fact that I was in what many may consider to be a hard major (physics) is not a significant factor to most law schools, nor is the fact that I finished the second half of my undergraduate academic career as a 3.34 GPA student - only my "leveraged" 2.0 GPA and assumed 160 LSAT score would really matter.

With this in mind, I would be fortunate to get into a bottom of the barrel law school, probably the kind of law school that produces graduates that are only employed locally and with relatively low salaries because they are consistently beat out for jobs in more populated areas by graduates of more prestigious law schools. 

Does this sound about right?
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: TruffleMomma on March 15, 2010, 09:16:49 PM
I disagree... Your degree background in physics does matter. It definitely trumps my 4.0 in basket weaving! The fact that your LSDAS GPA is going to be low can be explained with an addendum to your application. What law schools want are people who will come in and succeed.

That said... work on that LSAT. If you need to invest a couple thousand in a prep program, DO IT! The difference between a 158 and a 168 is a lot of scholarship money and a guaranteed second look at your application.

There are excellent T3 Schools out there and most T2's will allow you to transfer after the first year if you can stay in the top of your class. We had a couple go to Cooley for a year then transfer in after being turned down.

Your undergrad degree in physics makes you a good candidate for patent law... an excellent area with a great need. Most undergrad degrees are not in a science-based field so few qualify to even go into that area.

Just a thought or two for you. Nothing about law school is easy... they make it like that on purpose. Show them you are prepared to dig in and excel in your application and they will see this dedication will carry over to your law career.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: the white rabbit on March 16, 2010, 04:25:44 AM
I'm going to make myself unpopular here and say that the answer might very well be yes.  I don't think that your physics background matters very much.  What schools want are people who will come in and boost their statistics.  The 4.0 in basket weaving will probably trump the 2.0 in physics.  It is also a terrible idea to go to school based on the assumption that you will transfer somewhere better.  Everybody's trying to do that, but not everyone can do it.

That having been said, it might still be worth it to study hard for the LSAT and at least see how you do.  Lots of people have been able to raise their score significantly through practice.  A high LSAT score can compensate for a bad GPA.  To a point, anyway.

I disagree... Your degree background in physics does matter. It definitely trumps my 4.0 in basket weaving! The fact that your LSDAS GPA is going to be low can be explained with an addendum to your application. What law schools want are people who will come in and succeed.

That said... work on that LSAT. If you need to invest a couple thousand in a prep program, DO IT! The difference between a 158 and a 168 is a lot of scholarship money and a guaranteed second look at your application.

There are excellent T3 Schools out there and most T2's will allow you to transfer after the first year if you can stay in the top of your class. We had a couple go to Cooley for a year then transfer in after being turned down.

Your undergrad degree in physics makes you a good candidate for patent law... an excellent area with a great need. Most undergrad degrees are not in a science-based field so few qualify to even go into that area.

Just a thought or two for you. Nothing about law school is easy... they make it like that on purpose. Show them you are prepared to dig in and excel in your application and they will see this dedication will carry over to your law career.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: SaraJean on March 30, 2010, 07:11:44 AM
I'm going to make myself unpopular here and say that the answer might very well be yes.  I don't think that your physics background matters very much.  What schools want are people who will come in and boost their statistics.  The 4.0 in basket weaving will probably trump the 2.0 in physics.
 

It depends on what the OP means by "wasting my time."  If the OP wants to get into a T1 or T2 school, I agree with you.  However, the data in the 2010 Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools UGPA/LSAT Search includes plenty of schools (alibet with lower rankings) at which someone with the OP's numbers would have a 75% chance of being admitted.  Here's the URL: http://officialguide.lsac.org/ (http://officialguide.lsac.org/).

Quote
It is also a terrible idea to go to school based on the assumption that you will transfer somewhere better.  Everybody's trying to do that, but not everyone can do it.

True, but if one finds a less prestigious school that suits one's needs, there's no harm done if one decides not to transfer at the end of one's first year.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: sereion on April 24, 2010, 09:42:33 AM
I'm in the same boat as Jittery; I was a mediocre student in undergrad (2.4 GPA)--which is why I am hesitant of even applying. There are some law schools that have a pre-entry program which, will allow you to take a couple of  courses to see how if you're capable of handling the courseload. I would like to talk to someone who was in the same situation, and ended up being accepted.

My advice to you, Jittery is to go for it; you have nothing to lose--even if you're denied admission, as least you've made that effort; however, I'm sure there some school will accept you based on your work experience and LSAT scores.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on April 24, 2010, 01:20:11 PM
Mention it in your personal statement, it may help, but don't be foolish enough to lie to yourself and others saying that your major makes ANY impact on how they view your GPA. Remember ANY major get you into lawschool, so even prelaw isn't prefered over "basketweaving" in their review of your applicatoin. Honestly phsyics might help if you want to be a patent attorney(which you can become a patent agent NOW without lawschool just go take the test) but it won't help at all with lawschool studies. How many science classes does your JD have in it?There you go......the patent agent this is real though if you want to look into it.


I disagree... Your degree background in physics does matter. It definitely trumps my 4.0 in basket weaving! The fact that your LSDAS GPA is going to be low can be explained with an addendum to your application. What law schools want are people who will come in and succeed.

That said... work on that LSAT. If you need to invest a couple thousand in a prep program, DO IT! The difference between a 158 and a 168 is a lot of scholarship money and a guaranteed second look at your application.

There are excellent T3 Schools out there and most T2's will allow you to transfer after the first year if you can stay in the top of your class. We had a couple go to Cooley for a year then transfer in after being turned down.

Your undergrad degree in physics makes you a good candidate for patent law... an excellent area with a great need. Most undergrad degrees are not in a science-based field so few qualify to even go into that area.

Just a thought or two for you. Nothing about law school is easy... they make it like that on purpose. Show them you are prepared to dig in and excel in your application and they will see this dedication will carry over to your law career.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: sheltron5000 on April 25, 2010, 02:58:04 PM
You might even want to consider baccalaureate classes to try to raise your GPA. although if you averaged 2.04 from a 2.0 and a 3.3, that might not work out too well.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on April 25, 2010, 03:19:12 PM
if you want to raise your GPA, pick EASY stuff that you can get A's for sure. On campus at community college take GYM, online take 101 level stuff, just raise the cumulative man, ask LSAC if you don't believe me.

You might even want to consider baccalaureate classes to try to raise your GPA. although if you averaged 2.04 from a 2.0 and a 3.3, that might not work out too well.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: 'blueskies on April 25, 2010, 03:19:58 PM
fyi- if you've already graduated, there's nothing you can to do raise your LSDAS GPA
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: krexius on April 28, 2010, 08:28:10 AM
I was going to start a new thread, but due to similarties I'll jump in here.  My background offers several challenges (though hopefully some plusses).  I am an older potential law student, graduating with a degree in Biochemistry in 1994 (making me currently 37)with a poor 2.9 GPA (due to too much studies in the area of ethanol and other college-related hijinks).  I subsequently went to grad school, earning my Ph.D. in biochemistry (GPA 3.9...though is rather irrelevent in the science field as the degree is primarily research based).  I have since done post-doctoral research at two top medical schools, and am currently employed as a scientist at a major biotech company.  Having become quite interested in patent-law here, I'm considering this option.  

With a wife, house, two kids...I'm gathering all info and opinions on the feasability of getting into a good program, and the subsequent ROI following graduation.

Thanks!

Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on April 28, 2010, 08:32:02 AM
lies

fyi- if you've already graduated, there's nothing you can to do raise your LSDAS GPA
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: 'blueskies on April 28, 2010, 03:17:52 PM
lies

fyi- if you've already graduated, there's nothing you can to do raise your LSDAS GPA

no.  This is not a lie.  LSAC's policy states: "Transcripts representing work completed after the first four-year undergraduate degree (considered graduate work by LSAC) will not be summarized, but copies will be sent with the law school report. "

http://www.lsac.org/Applying/lsdas-requesting-transcripts.asp

Please stop disseminating poor information to people legitimately looking for help, and don't be rude to me for passing on the correct information.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on April 28, 2010, 09:43:25 PM
my god, you give me the link but you don't know how to read it yourself. ALL I repeat ALL of your undergrad, (after you graduate its still undergrad if its not in gradschool) So you can go back and do more studies to count it. I know this because I did it myself and LSAC was cool with it. First hand experience. Just because you don't understand it dosn't make it not true.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: NoleGrad on June 02, 2010, 08:22:46 PM
My position was similar to yours, except I couldn't claim a difficult major as an excuse.  I graduated in the mid-90's with a cumulative undergrad GPA of 2.27.  My practice LSAT's were around 160 and my actual LSAT was slightly below my practice average.  I was admitted to a T4 school last year, and I am currently in the top 20% of my class.  Depending on your goals, I would say you are definitely not wasting your time.  I am relying on my job experience to make me more marketable as an attorney.  There's no reason why you can't do the same.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: mdf1960 on June 13, 2010, 04:57:05 PM
 I was admitted to a T4 school last year, and I am currently in the top 20% of my class.  Depending on your goals, I would say you are definitely not wasting your time.  I am relying on my job experience to make me more marketable as an attorney.  There's no reason why you can't do the same.

Oh, you are in the top 20% of a Fourth Tier school? That really impresses employers these days!  <sarcasm> What sort of unique job experience do you have that will make you more marketable as an attorney in these days when many T1 grads are working at Wal-Mart?  You don't have some family connections that will get you a job, do you? I hope to God you are not borrowing a lot of money to finance your dreams. Sorry to be so harsh, but the legal job market is brutal, and having a positive attitude is not much help. Unless you get into a T14 school, rank at the very top of a lower ranked school (like first in your class, not top 20%), have family connections that guarantee you a job or are not borrowing any money to go to school, going to law school is pure idiocy. You'll realize this in about 4 years.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on June 13, 2010, 07:18:17 PM
Yes, since the magic 8ball told you YOU would be that guy.(suprise, its a whore and spread the same thing it give you around town) ::)

I was admitted to a T4 school last year, and I am currently in the top 20% of my class.  Depending on your goals, I would say you are definitely not wasting your time.  I am relying on my job experience to make me more marketable as an attorney.  There's no reason why you can't do the same.

Oh, you are in the top 20% of a Fourth Tier school? That really impresses employers these days!  <sarcasm> What sort of unique job experience do you have that will make you more marketable as an attorney in these days when many T1 grads are working at Wal-Mart?  You don't have some family connections that will get you a job, do you? I hope to God you are not borrowing a lot of money to finance your dreams. Sorry to be so harsh, but the legal job market is brutal, and having a positive attitude is not much help. Unless you get into a T14 school, rank at the very top of a lower ranked school (like first in your class, not top 20%), have family connections that guarantee you a job or are not borrowing any money to go to school, going to law school is pure idiocy. You'll realize this in about 4 years.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cvtheis on June 14, 2010, 06:43:03 AM
Consider, to do patent law or IP you may not need a JD.  To take the patent Bar you simply need an appropriate "engineering" degree -- check their web site.

IMO, If not going to a T1, you are wasting your time (I'm a T4 graduate) - will need some serious stick to get there w/ a 2.0 GPA.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on June 14, 2010, 08:43:55 AM
Horrible advice. (unless you already have a science degree which most JD students dont) More debt and many who can ace a JD couldnt get a D in engineering. 

PLUS

There is tons less work in that field. Thats like saying there isnt enough work out there so go back to undergrad and cut out 90% of what you can do. In fact that is exactly what you are saying.

Consider, to do patent law or IP you may not need a JD.  To take the patent Bar you simply need an appropriate "engineering" degree -- check their web site.

IMO, If not going to a T1, you are wasting your time (I'm a T4 graduate) - will need some serious stick to get there w/ a 2.0 GPA.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cvtheis on June 14, 2010, 11:59:28 AM
The OP has a BA in Physics.  he would spend much less time and money getting prepped for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.  Once he passed the FA, he would qualify to sit for the patent Bar.

Horrible advice. (unless you already have a science degree which most JD students dont) More debt and many who can ace a JD couldnt get a D in engineering. 

PLUS

There is tons less work in that field. Thats like saying there isnt enough work out there so go back to undergrad and cut out 90% of what you can do. In fact that is exactly what you are saying.

Consider, to do patent law or IP you may not need a JD.  To take the patent Bar you simply need an appropriate "engineering" degree -- check their web site.

IMO, If not going to a T1, you are wasting your time (I'm a T4 graduate) - will need some serious stick to get there w/ a 2.0 GPA.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on June 14, 2010, 08:00:51 PM
the patent bar is an ok way to go, but FAR LESS jobs in that and MUCH more competition. How is that easier to get a job in than a lawyer?
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cvtheis on June 15, 2010, 03:30:35 AM
I do not agree with the premise of "far less jobs" there.  Its been my understanding that IP is one of the growing areas of law.

the patent bar is an ok way to go, but FAR LESS jobs in that and MUCH more competition. How is that easier to get a job in than a lawyer?
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: cooleylawstudent on June 15, 2010, 08:22:07 AM
If true then how would be forced into "less jobs" by having a JD with it. Unless you want to "hang your own shingle" which most here seem scared to death to do, you wont find much work without with the full JD, plus you can do all law with the JD and be more versatile. Its like saying that you can file taxes with a one semester community college certificate so why waster time getting a CPA? Sounds stupid huh? 
t
I do not agree with the premise of "far less jobs" there.  Its been my understanding that IP is one of the growing areas of law.

the patent bar is an ok way to go, but FAR LESS jobs in that and MUCH more competition. How is that easier to get a job in than a lawyer?
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: NoleGrad on July 12, 2010, 09:28:14 PM
I was admitted to a T4 school last year, and I am currently in the top 20% of my class.  Depending on your goals, I would say you are definitely not wasting your time.  I am relying on my job experience to make me more marketable as an attorney.  There's no reason why you can't do the same.

Quote
Oh, you are in the top 20% of a Fourth Tier school? That really impresses employers these days!  <sarcasm> What sort of unique job experience do you have that will make you more marketable as an attorney in these days when many T1 grads are working at Wal-Mart?  You don't have some family connections that will get you a job, do you? I hope to God you are not borrowing a lot of money to finance your dreams. Sorry to be so harsh, but the legal job market is brutal, and having a positive attitude is not much help. Unless you get into a T14 school, rank at the very top of a lower ranked school (like first in your class, not top 20%), have family connections that guarantee you a job or are not borrowing any money to go to school, going to law school is pure idiocy. You'll realize this in about 4 years.

Don't be such a d-bag.  Since I last posted I received my grades and my standing improved to the top 8%, and yes, unlike you apparently, I do have job skills that will make me more marketable in the legal market for the particular type of field I wish to pursue.  My connections have nothing to do with my family, but rest assured my professional ones are very promising. The last time I checked, this segment of the board was dedicated to non-traditional students, not the masses of wet-behind-the-ears T1 grads whose entire existence is fueled by their unreasonable expectation of--immediately upon graduation--acquiring so-called "biglaw" jobs, even though such jobs are on the decline and many of those seeking them have no actual career experience.  You made a lot of unwarranted assumptions in your criticism of my situation, which I shared with the OP to encourage someone else who, probably unlike you, also appears to have some unique experience that will undoubtedly enhance his or her employability in the legal market. You see, I am not going into debt to finance law school so I have the luxury of waiting for the legal market to turn around while I gain legal experience in my current six-figure salary job.  In other words, I already have a high-paying job that includes a generous, lifetime pension (perhaps also like the OP) and the corresponding luxury of time, which affords me some degree of selectivity in carrying out my endeavor to enter the legal profession.  Just because you may have amassed an assload of debt and aren't confident about your limited prospects and inability to obtain employment more prestigious than Wal-Mart greeter does not mean everyone else's debt load and job prospects are as grim and dismal as yours. 
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: bigs5068 on July 13, 2010, 09:26:04 AM
Awesome. Yea if the OP has a 2.0 and a 160 they can probably get into law school and crazy facts are that if you go to law school you learn to become a lawyer. Plenty of tier 3/4 students find jobs in fact well over 50% of students at any ABA school find employment.  Law school is what you make of it and jackasses like mdf1960 probably have never even set foot in a law school classroom, yet criticize something they know jack sh** about.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: the white rabbit on July 14, 2010, 02:48:03 AM
Awesome. Yea if the OP has a 2.0 and a 160 they can probably get into law school and crazy facts are that if you go to law school you learn to become a lawyer. Plenty of tier 3/4 students find jobs in fact well over 50% of students at any ABA school find employment.  Law school is what you make of it and jackasses like mdf1960 probably have never even set foot in a law school classroom, yet criticize something they know jack sh** about.

Just becoming a lawyer is usually not worth $100k+, however.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: bigs5068 on July 14, 2010, 01:03:15 PM
Unless it is something you really want to do. I could do other things right now making more money than I probably ever would being a lawyer, but I like the law so that is what I am doing. I could make a good amount of money bouncing/bartending in clubs and I have.  It is awful and I know people bartending in the city right now that probably make 90-100k a year litearlly. Probably more than I will ever make as an attorney, but working the bar scence is not somethign I enjoy, but plenty of people do. 

It does suck it costs so much to be a lawyer, but if being a lawyer is what you want to do for the next 40 years of your life then it is probably worth the 100k.  Your profession is something you do for a long time I don't know how many times I can say that. Your degree lasts your entire life what happens one year after law school is not very indicative of what the rest of your career will be like. 40 years is a LONG TIME far longer than I or you have even been alive and a lot happens in that amount of time.

Are generation is just so impatient and so entitled that everybody bi**hes and moans when a roadblock comes up.
Title: Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
Post by: calgal27 on November 05, 2010, 04:39:57 AM
My GPA is 3.69.  Once all my transcripts got to LSAC and they averaged everything out, my cumulative GPA was 3.11.  That is a considerable difference.  I took LSAT 5 years ago and did poorly.  So, even thought I had a high GPA, the LSAT killed my chances of getting into any ABA approved school.  I can get into a state approved school and that is okay for me since by the time I am done with law school (assuming I start fall 2011) I will be almost 50.  I can be a lawyer and not got to an ABA school.